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Intercultural Communication

Presentation on the difficulties of Intercultural Communication.
by

Dan Mars

on 6 October 2014

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Transcript of Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication is the interaction, collaboration and synchronization of ideas and information from different cultures working in close proximity
DEFINITION OF INTERCULTURAL
COMMUNICATION
COMMUNICATION
INTERCULTURAL
Benefits of Intercultural Communication
New ideas, structures and models are helped by organizations with greater levels of diversity

INNOVATION
PERFORMANCE
Overall, diversity in culture can be seen to improve levels of performance and lift the level of competency in firms.

Groups consisting of diversity in education, race and culture are more likely to progress successfully in management










“Innovation is positively correlated with team heterogeneity… The bulk of empirical evidence supports the general conclusion that team diversity is beneficial for groups” (Bantel & Jackson, 1989)
DECISION MAKING
Higher levels of heterogeneity, corresponds with higher levels of cooperation and success.

The ability to work together in decision making contexts is greatly enhanced when groups are consisted of a diverse range of members

“Specifically, ethnically diverse groups composed of Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and Anglos acted more cooperatively than all-Anglo groups, and those behavioral differences tended to increase when the situational cues favoured cooperation” (McLeod et al., 1991)

DECISION MAKING
“The results demonstrate that cultural diversity does in fact add value and, within the proper context, contributes to firm competitive advantage” (Richard, 2000)

PERFORMANCE
LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES
Wasted $ a year
A) $10m
B) $50m
C) $100m
D) $200m+

Research by Rich Maggiani states that $1m per day is wasted which is equivalent to $365 million a year
AS THE RESULT OF LANGUAGE
DIFFICULTIES
Two negative factors caused by language difficulties:

- Intercultural communication apprehension(ICA)
- Conflict between members


Major causes of language difficulties
- Pronunciation

LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES
Why don’t you modify your English pronunciation correctly?
Asassfeh & his colleges (2011) “correcting pronunciation is one of the hardest works in learning an language."



BE PATIENT GUYS
For example:

English = I (S) want (V) to go home (O)

Korean = I (S) home (O) go want (V)


GRAMMAR
ICA (Intercultural Communication Apprehension)
"an individual level of anxiety or fear related to either real or anticipated communication with another person or persons who from other cultural background" (Neuliep & McCroskey 1997)

Fear related to having communication with others
who from different culture.



Not because of innate shy personality but ICA

CONFLICT
BETWEEN
MEMBERS
Stover affirms that inefficient communication caused by language issues results in high level of stress from workers and which could end up with conflict between members.

Role play : any volunteer ?

What did you feel about me as your partner ?

INTERCULTURAL NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION
CONFLICT
Conflict is a challenge encountered in intercultural communication
“Intercultural conflict” encompasses a range of clashes, which occur in part because of the cultural differences within a group (Rubenfeld, 2012)

INTERCULTURAL CONFLICT

Conflict is initiated within one group
which has opposing views






Differences in cultural values and beliefs
- Leads to identifying with specific groups
- This is known as the social identity theory

Think about the groups that you have joined and how they are different to others


CAUSES OF INTERCULTURAL CONFLICT
Positive vs.
negative conflict
- Conflict is not always negative
- Provides resilience
"Intercultural conflict challenges individual thinking and can enhance problem-solving abilities" (Eisenhardt, 1997).
Intercultural conflict in work groups
- Conflict is inevitable in any group

- "More culturally diverse groups experience more conflict than other groups" (Ting-Toomey, 2001)

- Competing goals is a source of conflict in groups
- Different values
- Leads to procedural conflict


Intercultural conflict in work groups


- Competing goals is a source of conflict in groups
- Different values
- Leads to procedural conflict


INTE
INTERCULTURAL CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE
Conflict can arise between managers and employees

Examples are:
- Disagreement with reviews
- Unwillingness to work overtime
- The way managers communicate with employees

Differing goals due to cultural differences
- Tasks prioritized differently

To me, it is the pressure to perform and succeed at any given task.

Intercultural communication can cause stress. (Wang, Mattila 2010)

Furnham and Bochner (1986) found that it was well documented that miscommunication and misunderstanding can arise from intercultural communication - stressful situation.

Stress-Emotion-Coping Model
(Wang, Mattila. 2010)
STRESS IN YOUR LIFE?
Waiting at a busy restaurant serving a table full of international customers.

Your job as a waiter is to please the customer.

Miscommunication can lead to dissatisfaction, with a boss/manager watching this will quickly become a stressful situation.

Lack of control in your workplace is also linked to stress.
Both of those factors are highly prevalent in providing health care.

Health Care Providers (Schott & Henley, 1996).
Learning new communication rules and behaviors, such as customs, are linked to stress.
Highly stressful job
Always the risk of miscommunication.

Diverse workforces offer fresh perspectives in business so it’s important to adapt.








There should be mandatory classes about cultural integration and learning about other cultures present in your workplace.

ALWAYS THE NEED FOR ADAPTATION
SOLUTIONS TO AVOID
THE DIFFICULTIES OF IC

THE CHALLENGES AND DIFFICULTIES OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
INTERCULTURAL
COMMUNICATION

PEARL HARBOUR
Emperor Shōwa
December 7, 1941
So in this photograph is Obama:
a) Showing respect to the Japanese Emperor
b) Apologizing to the Japanese people
c) Groveling to the Japanese
d) Committing treason against America
e) Making a gaffe - he mixed a bow and a
handshake
Depending on your culture you will have a different answer.
ONLINE POSTS FROM JAPANESE (THE EXAMINER, 2009)
“Such a deep bow from Obama, what a fine guy.”

“I’m surprised he bowed. He’s really trying hard to meet the Japanese way!”

“President Obama is a top-class person, isn’t he? Amazing!”

JAPANESE RESPONSE
How should the bow be interpreted? It is probably going to be linked to your culture, and almost certainly in conflicting ways depending on whether you are American or Japanese.

This photograph highlights one of the biggest problems with intercultural communication and that is the non-verbal behaviour.
"Obama bowing to convention"
Le su Kim suggests: “Our sense of proxemics, the non-verbals we employ, our haptics, oculesics, kinesics ...are culture-bound, internalised by us as the result of the cultures we grew up in." (Marianne, 1978)
HAPTICS
OCULESICS
PROXEMICS
Proxemics is the term that was coined by Edward T Hall in 1963. Hall focussed on interpersonal space defining it in four ways:

Watson and Graves 1966 found Arab men sit closer together than their American counterparts.
“Human haptic perception is concerned with the sense of touch. Haptic perceptions require direct contact with the environment.” (Steinbach, 2012)

Obviously in an intercultural business setting our focus would be on relational messages conveyed through two of the five methods of touch listed by Seiler and Beall, 2000. (Seiler, 2000)
So a left handed handshake between a man and a woman at a business meeting in America would be:

A) All good.
B) A social insult.
C) Only reserved only for male friends
BUT in an Hindu country?
Or Taiwan?
In the original example Obama seems to be unsuccessfully trying to combine a western handshake with a bow all at the same time and it is proving challenging. This is also indicated by his uncomfortable body language.

Oculesics “refers to the study of eye contact and placement, its proper use, its frequency and its interpretation. It is one of the earliest learned non verbal behaviors in any culture.” (Rosenhauer, 2007)
For this reason an understanding of gaze in intercultural situations is important. Arabs, for example, have been found to gaze much longer and more directly at their partners than do Americans (Matsumoto, 2006).
A western man looks directly into the eyes of a Chinese man and talks to him. This indicates to the Chinese man:
a) honesty and integrity
b) insulting or intimidating behaviour.
c) amusement and understanding
d) a good professional response.
Shuter in 1977 found Italians interacted more closely than either Germans or Americans.






Positive interactions would require cross cultural awareness and understanding.
(Matsumoto, 2008)
CATEGORIES OF NON VERBAL COMMUNICATION
He saw these different interpersonal areas as a product of culture, emotional state, gender or activity.
FUNCTIONAL = DOCTOR TOUCHING A PATIENT
SOCIAL = HANDSHAKE
HOW DO THESE PLAY OUT IN A MULTICULTURAL SETTING?
EMPEROR AKIHITO
- Australia
- Cairns
- Building
Non verbal behaviour is defined as “the transfer and exchange of messages in any and all modalities that do not involve words.” (Matsumoto, 2006)


Non verbal cannot be learned through language acquisition.
They would be:
- functional/professional interactions and
- social interactions.
“Proper eye contact can reduce distance between people and make people feel close to each other, which can facilitate verbal communication.” (Lin, 2005)
However research on humans and non human primates has shown that gaze can also be associated with dominance, power or aggression (Chiu, 2001).
(Samovar, 2013)
(Samovar, 2013)
The need for greater knowledge of cultural norms regarding Language, NVCs, ways of dealing with conflict and stress is real!
Human Resource Management managers should invest in greater knowledge sharing seminars.
REFERENCES
Asassfeh, SM, Al-Shaboul, YM, Zuraiq, W & Alshboul, S 2011, 'Lending Ears to EFL Learners: Language Difficulties', Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 33-46.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Accessed Thursday October 3 2012.

Bantel, K., Jackson, S. (1989). Top Management and Innovations in Banking: Does the Composition of the Top Team Make a Difference? . Strategic Management Journal , 10, 107-124.

Chiu, C. (2001). Gaze direction and fluency in conversational speech. Gaze and Fluency - Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Columbia University.

Eisenhardt, K. M. Kahwajy, J. L., & Bourgeois (1997). How management teams can have a good fight. Harvard Business Review, 75(4), 77

Furnham A, Bochner S. “A Review of Culture Shock Psychological Reactions to Unfamiliar Environments” (1986) Journal of Environmental Psychology, Vol. 9, (1), Page 88.

Lin, L. (2005). Enhancing Intercultural Communication Skills. California State Polytechnic University Pomona, CSA Academic Perspective, Vol.1, 44 - 46.

Maggiani, R. (2008). the costs of poor communication, viewed 1 October 2013, <http://www.solari.net/documents/position-papers/Solari-Costs-of-Poor-Communication.pdf>.

Marianne, L. (1978). Cultural aspects of nonverbal communication. International Journal of Intercultural Relations , 2 (1), 71-89.

Matsumoto, D. (2006, 6 19). Culture and Nonverbal Behaviour. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from David Matsumoto: http://www.davidmatsumoto.com/content/Matsumoto%20Chapter%2012%20Pages%20from%20Manusov%20II%20Proff-14.pdf

Miller, K. I., Ellis, B. H., Zook, E. G., & Lyles, J. S. (1990). “An integrated model of communication, stress, and burnout in the workplace” Communication Research, 17, 300–326.

Neuliep, JW & McCroskey, JC. (1997). 'The development of intercultural and interethnic communication apprehension scales', Communication Research Reports, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 145-56.

Olaniran, B. A. (1993). International students’ network patterns and cultural stress: What really counts.
Communication Research Reports, 10, 69–83.

Rosenhauer, S. (2007). Cross Cultural Business Communication. Diploma Thesis - Grin Verlag. Germany: Books on Demand.

Rubenfeld, S & Clement, R. (2012). “Intercultural Conflict and Mediation: An Intergroup Perspective”. Language Learning, Vol. 62, (4), pp.1205-1230

Samovar. (2013, January). Non-verbal communication Modes. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from Andrews University: http://www.andrews.edu/~tidwell/bsad560/NonVerbal.html

Schott, J, & Henley, A. (1996). Culture, religion, and childbearing in a multiracial society: A handbook

Seiler, WJ and Beall, M. L ( 2011). Communication. Making Connections ( 8th ed). Boston: Pearson

Smith, L. G. E. (2011). Managerial skills and communication / [Custom book prepared for
University of Queensland]. Sydney: Pearson. Chapter 6: Designing and Delivering
Oral and Online Presentations; Chapter 7: Enhancing Presentations with Slides and
Other Visuals.

Steinbach, E. (2012). Haptic Communications: Frontiers of communication. Proceedings of the IEEE.

Stover, J 2010, Problems With Language Barriers, viewed 2 October 2013, <http://www.ehow.com/info_8023229_problems-language-barriers.html>.

Taylor Cox, S. L. (1991). Effects of Ethnic Group Cultural Differences on Cooperative and Competitive Behavior on a Group Task. Acadamy of Journal , 34 (4), 827-847.

Ting-Toomey, S., & Oetzel, J. G. (2001). Managing intercultural conflict effectively.
London: Sage.

TMG LTD. (2009, Nov 16). Barack Obama criticised for 'treasonous' bow to Japanese emperor . The Telegraph.

Ulrey, K, & Amason, P. “Intercultural Communication Between Patients and Health Care Providers: An Exploration of Intercultural Communication Effectiveness, Cultural Sensitivity, Stress, and Anxiety”. Health Communication
Vol. 13, 4, 2001

Wang C.-Y. Mattila A.S. “A grounded theory model of service providers' stress, emotion, and coping during intercultural service encounters” (2010) Managing Service Quality, Vol. 20 (4) , pp. 328-342.

Immigration currently provides 60% of Australia's population growth (ABS, 2011)

Diversity on the rise
"Conflict is inevitable in any group
More culturally diverse groups experience more conflict than other groups" (Ting-Toomey, 2001)
Full transcript